Expatica news

Solana tipped to head EC

21 June 2004

MADRID – EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana could have an outside chance of  succeeding European Commission head Romano Prodi, even if that is not currently the most likely option, Spain’s foreign minister said Monday.

Miguel Angel Moratinos said Solana was expected to run for the new post of EU foreign minister, set to be created under a constitution agreed last week.

But the possibility of Solana taking over as head of the European Union’s executive Commission was “absolutely not ruled out”, the minister told Spain’s Cadena Ser radio station.

Solana “is a candidate who always attracts unanimity,” he said, but added that currently Solana “is unanimously seen as the future foreign minister” in EU circles.

EU leaders failed to agree at a summit in Brussels last week on a successor to Prodi, who is due to step down in October, after a row between Britain and France over rival candidates.

Moratinos added that Solana, a former Spanish foreign minister and Nato secretary general, had the advantage of being liked by all the different sides in the dispute over the future of the EU.

But he said: “It is delicate to speculate because informal consultations are being made and there is no definitive consensus.”

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, whose country presides EU meetings, has said he hopes to have a successor for Prodi by the end of June when Ireland’s mandate runs out.

The new Commission president is due to be approved by the European Parliament in late July.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news